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Teacher builds AI robot that can speak 38 languages – and it cost just £500


Computer science teacher Dinesh Patel alongside his homemade robot (Credits: Tahir Ibn Manzoor / SWNS)

A man claims to have used £500 worth of cardboard and plastic to build a robot – which is artificially intelligent and can speak 38 languages.

Computer science teacher Dinesh Patel says he has developed a social humanoid which can identify objects and solve equations.

Dinesh says the prototype, named Shalu, can also answer riddles and general knowledge questions and memorise things.

He says Shalu has a diverse set of capabilities – and can read newspapers, deliver weather reports and read out horoscopes and recipes.

Dinesh built her with waste materials including aluminium, cardboard, wood and plastic – and then hooked her up to a computer.

He is now looking to using 3D printing to create more realistic body parts.

Shalu the robot was built with waste materials including aluminium, cardboard, wood and plastic. (Credits: Tahir Ibn Manzoor / SWNS)

Dinesh says it speaks more than 38 foreign languages including English – and nine local languages.

‘I’ve developed this robot from scratch in my spare time, using scrap materials and components procured locally,’ Dinesh said.

‘The software has also been largely built by me using public-domain libraries.

‘This goes to show how it is possible to build things locally that can indeed compete in capabilities with those coming from much more resourceful labs around the world.’

Dinesh says the prototype, named Shalu, can also answer riddles and general knowledge questions and memorise things. (Credits: Tahir Ibn Manzoor / SWNS)

Dinesh, from the Indian village of Rajmalpur of Uttar Pradesh’s Jaunpur district, was inspried by the Bollywood movie ‘Robot’.

He spent more than three years devoted to his special project – spending around £493 (INR 50,000) creating Shalu.

‘I gave it the face of a woman for general acceptance and be the environment ambassador,’ he added.

‘There’s plenty to be done and I hope I will succeed in it in the foreseeable future.’

A similar robot has been developed by Hong Kong-based engineering company – Hanson Robotics, which was named ‘Sophia’.

The robot took more than three years to build and program (Credits: Tahir Ibn Manzoor / SWNS)

Dinesh said: ‘I’ve focused on it being a guide for students to introduce them to robotics. It is nothing but joy to make something out of nothing. I want it to be a time-saving product for students.’

‘It can be a good friend and mentor for students – answering their basic questions regarding general knowledge and maths.

‘I am keen to make it more beneficial for the students in impoverished communities.

‘There are tens of thousands of children yet to make it to schools across India. I am targeting that to help such children who are willing to study but can’t afford it.’


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